Construction firm issues statement after deadly Brier Creek trench collapse

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The investigation continues on the construction site in Brier Creek where a deadly trench collapse happened last week. Frank Thompson, a 42-year-old man from Dalton, Georgia has been identified as the victim.

D R Mozeley, the company in charge of the construction project site where a gas station is being built said the accident involved a subcontractor and issued a statement Tuesday morning.

“On January 15, an incident occurred involving a subcontractor working on a construction site for a D R Mozeley project,” the Charlotte-based company said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the workers and their families affected by this incident. The safety of all employees and subcontractors on our construction sites is our highest priority and we are deeply committed to following all industry safety standards. We will be working with the appropriate agencies to identify the cause of this incident. We will provide more information as it becomes available.”

On Jan. 15, a trench collapsed around 11 a.m. at 4209 Corners Parkway near TW Alexander and Glenwood Avenue. The body was recovered hours later. Two other workers were hospitalized and another was able to scramble to safety.

For the Brier Creek project, D R Mozeley contracted with J Squared Plumbing out of Georgia for someof the plumbing work, D R Mozeley told ABC 11.

Occupational Safety and Health officials with the North Carolina Department of Labor are investigating.

According to NCDL documents, typical investigations of trench collapse incidents “will usually be limited to the events surrounding the accident unless observations at the site indicate a broader investigation is needed.

What will happen during the investigation?

  • An OSH investigator will go to the accident site and collect physical evidence, including photographs.
  • The investigator will interview employees, witnesses and management officials about the accident to determine its cause.
  • Any violations of safety and health standards will be noted and citations will be issued.

As standard practice investigators will look for whether:

  • workers were provided a protective system. Protective systems include sloping the sides of the trench or providing a shield (trench box) between the trench sides and the work area.
  • the slope was appropriate for the type of soil.
  • soil was placed at least 2 feet from the trench’s edge.
  • factors such as vibrations from machinery and traffic that can affect soil stability were considered.
  • workers had safe exits from trenches 4 feet deep or deeper.

OSH investigations can take from a few weeks to six months depending on the complexity of the incident.

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